EU Science Hub

Science meets Parliaments / Science meets Regions

The call for expression of interest closed on June 1. It attracted over 80 replies from 25 member states. An acknowledgement of receipt has been sent to the participants, explaining the next steps.

Goals

"Science meets Parliaments / Science meets Regions" will go to European Union countries and regions to:

  • bring scientists and policymakers together
  • encourage mutual understanding
  • discuss a locally relevant policy issue using scientific evidence
  • bring science closer to citizens
  • increase people's trust in science by showing its key contributions to society

 

Criteria for the pilot project

 

Partnership with European countries and regions

The Commission is exploring the possibility to support up to 28 events with up to 30.000 EUR.

Events shall be initiated and organised by EU member states' national, regional or local parliaments or administrative authorities.

Interested parties are welcome to join forces and organise joint events around issues of shared interest, whether they share the same challenge or offer complementary solutions to the issue at stake.

 

Conferences and innovation camps

The Science meets Parliaments / Science meets Regions initiative should materialise either as one-day events (workshops or conferences) or as multi-day "innovation camps".

Single-day events must involve substantial participation by

  • local policy makers,
  • scientists from local universities or research institutes, and
  • the public.

The event should be supported by communication activities, to ensure that citizens and stakeholders particularly interested in the subject of the event are informed and can participate.

Multi-day innovation camps must involve all actors of the so-called "quadruple helix":

  • public sector,
  • academia and research institutes,
  • business and
  • civil society.

They aim at finding novel, "out-of-the-box" solutions to societal challenges. See the innovation camp handbook for more details about the innovation camp methodology.

 

Themes of events

The national or regional Parliament or administrative authorities shall identify a suitable theme to engage policymakers and scientists, which is locally relevant.

The following thematic areas are especially welcomed:

  • Jobs & Growth
  • Sustainable Development
  • Energy & Climate Change
  • Food Safety & Authenticity
  • Migration & Demography

Other topics of interest to the country or region concerned can be considered.  Forward-looking approaches, tackling future and emerging issues, are also encouraged.

 

Eligibility

The call is open to EU member states'

  • national parliaments
  • regional parliaments
  • administrative authorities such as regions and cities

Those bodies or institutions need to have the power to take administrative or policy decisions for the relevant geographical areas within the legal and institutional framework of their respective country.

Joint expressions of interest by two or more entities having similar needs or interests are possible and encouraged.

 

Scientific support to the events

To support local events, the Commission is also considering contracting local research organisations. Their task will be to

  • gather data,
  • scientific evidence and
  • carry out specific studies on the topic of each individual event.

These studies will be performed

  • ahead of the event they relate to - providing solid evidence on the basis of which the discussion will be held - or
  • as a follow-up to the event - to study the issues in more depth and provide a scientific basis for future policymaking on the issue.

The JRC will help organisers to design the event, offer scientific expertise, identify contributors both from its own ranks and from the scientific community at large, and promote the events through its communication channels.

Next steps

Entities having expressed their interest may subsequently be invited to submit their offer in one of the tender procedures that the JRC will launch for the events to be organised.

Contact

For more information email JRC-INFO-SMP-SMR@ec.europa.eu

 

Background

Our ultimate goal is to ensure that policy development is informed by the best scientific advice possible, not only at EU level, but also at national, regional and local levels.

"Science meets Parliaments" is an initiative launched in 2015 by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) together with the European Parliament.

In line with the JRC's overall mission, the objective of the initiative was to build closer links and regular dialogue between scientists and policymakers, so as to foster evidence-informed policymaking.

"Science meets Regions" was launched in collaboration with the Committee of the Regions in 2016.

Regions and cities are a key partner in the implementation of European legislation, policies and financial instruments.

About 70% of EU legislation and 80% of EU funds are implemented at subnational level, giving European regions and cities the power to act as catalysts of change and enablers of citizens' involvement.

The success of these events prompted the European Parliament to fund a pilot project in 2018 to expand the scope of the initiative to more European countries and regions.

 

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